SINGAPORE: The COVID-19 cluster linked to a police K-9 unit has grown to seven cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Jan 19), after one more close contact tested positive.
MOH reported four new COVID-19 cases in the community on Tuesday, and one was linked to the K-9 unit cluster.
Case 59428 is an eight-year-old Singaporean student at Chua Chu Kang Primary School who had last gone to school on Jan 15.
He is the son of two previously confirmed cases, Cases 59365 and 59393, both linked to the K-9 unit cluster. He was placed on quarantine after being identified as a close contact of his father, who was confirmed to be infected on Jan 16.
The boy was swabbed on the same day, and tested negative for COVID-19, MOH said, adding that "there is therefore no risk of transmission to the students he had contact with previously".
However, he developed a fever on Jan 17 and was tested again at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
The second test gave a positive result. His serological test came back negative, indicating a likely current infection.
FIRST REPORTED INFECTIONS
On Jan 14, a para-vet - Case 59280 - at the police K-9 unit was reported as the sole community case for that day.
According to MOH, the para-vet developed a fever on Jan 11 and visited a general practitioner clinic on the same day, when he was tested for COVID-19.
The 32-year-old Singaporean remained at home on medical leave until his result came back positive on Jan 13 and he was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). His serological test was negative, indicating it was likely a current infection, said MOH.
The para-vet's identified close contacts, including family members and co-workers, were isolated and placed on quarantine, with testing at the start and end of their quarantine periods to detect asymptomatic cases.
On Jan 15, the police said that three of its officers who were in close contact with the para-vet had been quarantined.
Twenty-five police dogs that had interacted with the para-vet two weeks before he showed symptoms also tested negative for COVID-19, the police said.
On Jan 16, MOH reported that the para-vet's wife tested positive for COVID-19. The 28-year-old, Case 59347, had been in quarantine since Jan 13.
She developed acute respiratory infection symptoms on Jan 14 and was tested for the coronavirus. Her result returned positive the next day, and she was also sent to NCID. Her serological test was negative.
The woman works as a prison staff officer with the Singapore Prison Service but does not interact with inmates, MOH said. She was mainly working from home during this period.
JAN 17: TWO MORE CASES LINKED, CLUSTER IDENTIFIED
On Jan 17, MOH reported that a 44-year-old Singaporean man who works as an administrative officer at the police's K-9 unit had COVID-19.
The administrative officer, Case 59365, developed a dry throat on Jan 7 - earlier than the para-vet's onset of symptoms - but had not sought medical treatment, MOH said.
The administrative officer was tested on Jan 15 as part of special testing operations at the para-vet's workplace. His result came back positive on Jan 16 and he was taken to NCID. His serological test was negative.
After the administrative officer was confirmed to have COVID-19, MOH on Jan 16 contacted one of his family members, a 44-year-old Singaporean woman, as part of contact tracing efforts.
The woman, Case 59387, is a homemaker, and was tested for COVID-19 on Jan 16 when she reported she had developed a fever and chills on Jan 9, as well as the loss of smell and taste on Jan 13. She had not sought medical treatment, MOH said.
Her test result came back positive on Jan 17, and she was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital. Her serological test was negative.
JAN 18: CLUSTER GROWS TO 6 CASES
Two new community cases of COVID-19 were reported in Singapore on Jan 18, both of whom are family members of the administrative officer.
Case 59393 is the man's spouse, a 43-year-old Singaporean woman who is a homemaker, while the other is a 66-year-old Malaysian woman, Case 59395, who is a long-term visit pass holder. Both developed symptoms, including diarrhoea and loss of taste, but had not sought medical treatment.
They were identified as close contacts of the administrative officer and were contacted by MOH on Jan 16. They were tested for COVID-19 when they reported their symptoms and their test results came back positive the next day.
Both women were taken to hospitals in ambulances, with Case 59393 warded at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Case 59395 at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
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